As a parakeet owner, one of the heartbreaking things to endure in this beautiful journey is your beloved pet’s sudden, overnight death. Now that may seem very farfetched, and you may wonder why would that ever happen to your bird. Still, unfortunately, that’s not too uncommon.
Parakeets are vulnerable to stress which can be life-threatening under extreme cases.
When parakeets are stressed, they release a large amount of adrenaline into the bloodstream. In turn, it raises the blood pressure, empties the sugar supply into the bloodstream, and dilates the muscles’ blood vessels. High level or frequency of stress causes the exhaustion of the adrenal glands to set in, causing the bird to die suddenly in some cases.
Can a Parakeet Die of Stress?
Yes, parakeets can die of stress.
Parakeets are intelligent birds with sharp cognitive abilities. Thus, they are capable of experiencing a range of emotions, including physical and psychological stress.
High level or frequency of stress causes the exhaustion of the adrenal glands to set in, causing the bird to die suddenly in some cases.
Also, Vetwest Animal Hospital’s review of the most prevalent causes of death in birds showed that predisposing factors like stress worsened the severity of even less harmful diseases, resulting in a higher death rate.
Now that you know whether or not can a parakeet die of stress, it’s also essential to understand the factors that trigger it.
What Factors Can Cause Stress in Parakeets?
A parakeet’s unique needs are challenging to meet than most owners realize, which can often leave him feeling anxious.
Let’s explore the reasons that can cause stress in these little birds:
Pets at Home
Parakeets are delicate, and anyone prying on them will scare the guts of them, really. Cats and dogs producing constant noise, looking at the birds curiously, or jumping on the cage will severely stress your parakeet.
New Location Change
Parakeets are creatures of habit. So, if you change the room’s layout or move the cage to a new location, it will trigger stress. Make sure to introduce him to the new area gradually by allowing him to explore the room at his own pace.
Follow the same method for the new cage as well. This time, you can also place a treat inside the cage to tempt him.
A new toy you lovingly purchased for your parakeet can be perceived as a life-threatening weapon.
He may think of it as a scary new predator. So, whenever you introduce a new toy, don’t directly put it in the cage. Place it outside of the cage or hang it nearby, and let him get used to it.
Bad health can trigger stress, and in turn, the stress will make the health worse.
It’s a vicious cycle. Anything from a physical injury to food allergy or a nervous system disorder to nutritional deficiency can induce stress in parakeets.
Parakeets are inherently social creatures, and they live in a flock naturally.
So, if you only have one parakeet, there’s a good chance he will be lonely. And if you’re not around much, the chances are even higher. And in no time, that loneliness can manifest into stress.
Symptoms of Stress in Parakeets
Now that you know the primary stress triggers, let’s look at the signs to take action on time.
Take a shed feather and study it. Stress bars refer to horizontal lines that run across the feather’s shaft.
Loss of Appetite
Your parakeet may suddenly lose his appetite or start being picky when stressed. As a result, the droppings will be very sparse, and he’ll also lose weight.
Suppose your parakeet depicts destructive behaviors like plucking own feathers, messing up with the cage, or ripping other items. In that case, he’s either stressed, bored or both.
Your parakeet may also exhibit repetitive behaviors like toe-tapping, pacing, and head swinging to channel the boredom and accompanying stress.
A happy bird sings, chirps, and chatters. If your parakeet is stressed, he’ll hiss, scream, and squawk. This generally means that he’s scared, anxious, or hurt.
A sudden burst of aggression in an otherwise normal parakeet is a telltale sign of stress.
If he starts hissing or lunging at other pet birds or when someone passes by, know that there’s underlying stress behind this anger.
If your bird becomes fearful or defensive around you or a family member, this normally means he is being stressed by that action.
Sometimes, it’s something as simple as the bright shirt you’re wearing or the new hat.
How to Reduce Stress in Parakeets?
Before we go, here are some ideas to reduce stress and its symptoms in parakeets.
- A nutritious diet and clean water
- Toys for mental stimulation
- Gentle Handling
- No overcrowding
- Parasite Control
- Nutritional Supplements
- Suitable position and location of the cage
- Some alone time
- Good hygiene in the cage
As unusual as the ‘can a parakeet die of stress?’ question sound, it’s very much possible and not at all uncommon. Caring for birds like parakeets is more or less a full-time responsibility.
If not treated on time, the stress will take many other forms like depression and neurotic disorders, while also worsening any other physical disease—all contributing to a fatality.
Thus, as a responsible parakeet owner, it’s important to check for signs of stress, decipher the causes, and seek necessary steps.